City drops ‘bombshell’ on unsuspecting businesses

Jul 2, 2015, 12:51 PM | Updated: 1:16 pm
John Shepherd, owner of Red Mill Burgers, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that businesses recei...
John Shepherd, owner of Red Mill Burgers, told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson that businesses received no notice of the new homeless camps, until the city released the proposed sites on Monday.

Some businesses are feeling blindsided by the announcement of three new homeless camps in Seattle.

John Shepherd, owner of Red Mill Burgers, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that businesses received no notice of the new camps, until the city released the proposed sites on Monday.

Two of the camps are near two of Shepherd’s burger joints.

“This is like a bombshell dropped on us,” he told Dori. “We had no idea this was coming.”

The three preferred city-owned sites for homeless encampments in 2015 are: 2826 NW Market St. for approximately 52 residents; 3234 17th Ave. W for approximately 70 residents; and Industrial Way between 5th and 6th Avenue S for approximately 78 residents. Four other sites were identified for future locations.

The Market Street camp, near Red Mill Totem House, is something Shepherd worries about. There is a liquor store and tavern nearby.

“It’s not exactly the best place for people with chemical-dependency problems,” Dori responded after hearing that.

Shepherd takes issue with the city creating camps, instead of finding a more permanent solution.

“It’s an ongoing problem,” he said. “Just moving this thing around and around doesn’t do anything.

“How are we going to get more help to these people.”

The city has vacant lots that could be sold, Shepherd said. Why not sell a lot and buy an old hotel on Aurora and turn it into transitional housing, he suggested. Transitional housing staffed by social workers would help more than a camp, he said.

In order for an idea like Shepherd’s to work, the city needs to be pressured, he told Dori. That may begin to happen.

“They need to interact with business people,” Shepherd said. “That’s not what they’re doing.”

Businesses should demand something more concrete, he added.

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

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City drops ‘bombshell’ on unsuspecting businesses